Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Broadcom Bluetooth Driver: Installer or Virus??

My primary computer at the moment is an HP dv6 laptop (with Broadcom 2070 Bluetooth chip). Upon getting my laptop, I immediately wiped the hard drive and slapped on a fresh copy of Windows 7. Installed the drivers from HP, and everything was rolling along nicely...

Fast-forward 4 months... Now I'm having some issues with Bluetooth communication between my phone (Android) and my laptop. So I reinstall the Bluetooth driver... The installation took a long time, but eventually errored-out, and quit. Of course, I had left the computer unattended during this, and came back to an almost-empty hard drive (!!!!). Restored for backup, some minor data loss, no problem... I thought I had snagged a virus in the download (even though it was direct from HP's site). Redownload, scan with multiple scanners, run it ....... SAME RESULT!!! Giving up on the official installer, I just took the drivers that the installer unpacked, and manually installed them... That didn't solve my original problem, but it did get me back to a somewhat-OK state, without the desired bluetooth functionality...

Fast-forward another 6 months... I notice that there is an update to the Bluetooth drivers from HP. FINALLY! Excited, I download the new driver and try to install it... it gives "error 1935..." ...not good, but not as bad as before... I google around, and find that it would help to uninstall the old driver first. So I uninstall the drivers I manually installed, and also find a trace in Programs and Features. After starting the uninstaller, I notice my hard drive free space is going up. QUICKLY. ... SHIT. hard shutdown, lost several dozen gigs of stuff... Turns out it was mostly games (C:\Games is killed before C:\Program Files), so the good stuff was untouched. close call...

Here's my thoughts on this at that point: "The installer won't finish, unless I run the uninstaller, which will try to delete everything... great!"

At this point, I try to get the driver from Broadcom's site. Looks promising, but hangs every time on "Validating Device" (waited for hours). Well, at least it doesn't try to delete everything...

Now, I try to run the (new, from HP) installer again, figuring maybe something hidden has changed and it would now magically work... No such luck. In fact, the new, virus-free, direct-from-HP installer also tries to delete everything from my hard drive.

I've also tried reinstalling the previous version (not sure if this is the original one or not), but that also tries to delete everything from my hard drive...

Great. I got NOTHING (in regards to Bluetooth)! I've lost count of the number of times I've used Shadow Copy to get my crap back after watching the installers start trying to delete everything...

So, now I'm stuck without any Bluetooth on my laptop. An inconvenience, but nonetheless quite annoying...

But the most important question I have is: If you're a developer, and you're writing drivers (for whatever device), and you package that into an (un-)installer, how is there even a remote chance of that (un-)installer deleting (or at least attempting to delete) EVERYTHING from your hard drive. Wouldn't that come up as a critical bug during testing? Or are the developers at Broadcom/HP drunk off their asses and think "ahh, sometimes this thing will delete everything off the hard drive... who cares? just ship it already... we'll just blame that on some sort of virus and tell the user to be more careful" WTF?

Has anybody had this problem? Is it possible to fix it without reinstalling Windows? Or anything else I could possibly try?

Oh, and in case this even needs to be said at this point: DON'T INSTALL BROADCOM BLUETOOTH DRIVERS FROM HP!!!

P.S. Safe Mode didn't help -- none of the installers would run (the Installer service is not started in Safe Mode)
P.P.S. Yes, I have scanned my entire computer with multiple virus scanners, both local and online. Clean as a whistle.

11 comments:

  1. Also have the same problem. 230Gb lost.

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  2. been having the same issue for the 3 days and didnt realize it was the BT driver.. i feel like killing someone at both HP and Broadcom!!

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  3. I've also been having this problem!

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  4. I have exactly same problem, until now I was only suspecting it but now am sure my doubts were true. It's hard to believe that those guys are so negligent ........

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  5. not fixed in 2012 either real annoying hope file recovery software works or hp are in for a lawsuite

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  6. Wow. Just hit the same problem - on a Lenovo W700 laptop. Two of my three drives were totally destroyed while toggling between the Microsoft and Lenovo-supplied Bluetooth drivers.

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  7. Just had exactly the same thing happen here too, had too reinstall windows from the recovery partition

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  8. It's freakin November 2013 and I'm having the same freaking problem. WTH?!

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  9. December my computer (HP) tells me I need to download that from broadcom, Thank God I didn't do it!!!!

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  10. Well I don't have an HP system but do have a Broadcom Bluetooth USB adapter. All was great until I ran Advanced Driver Updater, while other drivers updated without any issues after the Broadcom Bluetooth driver update I started having keyboard input issues. I could not enter any text into Office 2007 or Firefox among other apps, I could log onto Win 7 but after Win 7 was up and running it started all over again. Ran Bitdefender 2014 anti-virus but nothing was found, also ran a few other Malware and anti-virus tools but still could not find anything. I could use safe mode and my keyboard worked great but when I would go back into Win 7 it started all over. I even restored the backup from Advanced Driver Updater but still do not resolve my issue. I then ran Combofix and walla found that userinit.exe was infected.After Combofix was completed and restored userinit.exe from a backup copy I could use my keyboard without any issues until I had to reboot then here we go again. Ran Combofix again but this time services.exe was infected but restored from backup via Combofix. I noticed that every time I rebooted the new device came up with Broadcom Bluetooth adapter found and would install the drivers. I then stopped the Bluetooth services and uninstalled the Broadcom Bluetooth USB adapter. My keyboard works great again.

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  11. Its is really frustrating, that this issue is known for several YEARS now and still hits people (like me) out of nowhere! A simple preventive patch rolled out via some system update architecture (available to DELL, Lenovo) could save so many people!
    Here are my two cents on the topic:
    http://bluepings.wordpress.com/2014/03/01/broadcom-bluetooth-driver-uninstall-disaster/

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